Go Back To The Basics With Wooden Kids Toys

From birth to two years of age, children experience an especially rapid rate of mental and physical development and they are uniquely susceptible to the long-term impacts of environmental exposures.

If you’re curating a collection of early childhood items with as few plastics and synthetics as possible, wooden toys are a wonderful investment. They’re sturdy enough to be passed on for generations and simple enough to inspire imaginative play—without all the overwhelming lights and batteries of their plastic counterparts. 

We’ve gathered 12 of our favorite wooden toy brands. From mom-and-pop stores and family businesses to independent artisans to large manufacturers, there are sustainable toys for all ages of children and all types of play.

Check out our guide to nontoxic baby care products while you’re at it, so your little one can be surrounded by only the good stuff.

1. Lovevery

Best For | Comprehensive wooden block set
Made In | China
Price Range | $90
Age Range | 18–48+ months

For one play set to rule them all, check out Lovevery’s The Block Set. Seen as one of the most comprehensive block sets ever designed, your little one can enjoy wooden baby blocks, planks, shapes, and more for up to 20 different stage-based activities. Great for stacking, matching, and spatial learning, it’s an all-in-one set that’s made to last. Each piece is ethically and sustainably made with FSC-certified wood, water-based paints, and recyclable packaging.

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2. Manhattan Toy Company

Best For | Wooden infant & musical toys
Made In | China, Vietnam, & Thailand
Price Range | $6–$208
Age Range | 0–60+ months

One of the oldest wooden toy manufacturers, many of us grew up with Manhattan Toy Company’s wooden Skwish rattle, which we still buy decades later for our own children. Designed in Minneapolis, MN and then thoughtfully made in Asia, the company produces toys that inspire joy and creativity, are safe for kids of all ages even as infants, and use sustainably sourced wood and water-based paints. Be honest—you’re eyeing the intricate and whimsical designs, too.

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3. Brio

Best For | Wooden builder & train sets
Made In | China & the Czech Republic
Price Range | $9.99–$249.99
Age Range | 9–60+ months

A classic in so many households and a staple in ours, Brio has been producing wooden toys since the 1800s and the brand’s wooden toys have graced the floors of nurseries around the world. The Swedish company is still relatively small with 70 employees, but its products can be found in more than 20 countries. Use the website’s store locator to find options near you—wherever you are!

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4. Tegu

Best For | Wooden magnetic blocks
Made In | Honduras
Price Range | $15.99–$350
Age Range | 9+ months

Believing in the potential for play to inspire imaginations, Tegu produces an innovative line of magnetic wooden blocks that evolve with children as they grow, by helping toddlers learn to start stacking while older children can build creative masterpieces. The company intentionally manufacturers in Honduras, paying local employees a living wage, and sourcing from sustainable wood cooperatives. Tegu has a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee or your money back.

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5. Areaware

Best For | Wooden balancing blocks
Made In | Varies
Price Range | $10–$250
Age Range | 12+ months

A small gift and home decor company based in New York and Ohio, Areaware collaborates with independent designers on a royalty-basis and helps bring their playful ideas to the market. From uniquely shaped balancing blocks and spinning tops, to architectural city landscapes and colorful robots, kids will engage in their imagination far beyond the playroom.

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6. Petit Collage

Best For | Wooden pull toys & puzzles
Made In | China
Price Range | $12–$50
Age Range | 0–36+ months

Founded by Argentinian artist Lorena Siminovich, Petit Collage has a robust line of wooden teethers and toys including puzzles, pull toys, and stacking sets for all of the early years. Combining FSC certified wood with bright primary colors (made from vegetable inks!), this small California company prioritizes a modern aesthetic and rigorous sustainability standards in all its playthings.

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7. Hape

Best For | Wooden push toys & musical toys
Made In | China
Price Range | $9.99–$229.99
Age Range | 0–60+ months

One of the more widely available brands on this list, Hape offers a line of sturdy wooden push toys and musical sets through which children can explore the world around them. The company also prioritizes charitable collaborations and has donated more than 10,000 toys to children in Afghanistan, China, Nepal, Zimbabwe, and Syria. You can often find Hape toys at Target, Nordstrom, buybuy BABY, or via its stockists.

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8. Plan Toys

Best For | Wooden car & home sets
Made In | Thailand
Price Range | $6–$379
Age Range | 0–36+ months

Based on the principles of sustainable play, Plan Toys are produced from natural rubber trees without fertilizers (aptly named PlanWood), dried in a chemical-free kiln, and assembled with organic colors and dyes using non-formaldehyde glue. The final product is a line of colorful wooden toys for all ages, inspiring creativity, movement, and thoughtfulness.

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9. Grimms

Best For | Wooden stacking & nesting toys
Made In | Europe
Price Range | $10–$210
Age Range | 0–60+ months

Grimms is a family-owned company that produces a line of soft, inviting, stackable wooden toys in bright colors and fun shapes. Based in the Swabian Alb mountain range, the company collaborates with a few European manufacturers and a special needs workshop in Germany, where all products are sanded by hand to give a unique soft finish, unlike machine-finished toys. Use the brand’s Store Locator to find toys near you.

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10. Pinch Toys

Best For | Wooden vehicles 
Made In | Europe
Price Range | €9–€85
Age Range | 18+ months

Inspired by minimalist design and quality handmade construction, Pinch Toys is a European small business with a beautiful collection of natural wooden vehicles—most of which will probably last longer than actual cars do! With raw wood sustainably sourced from Croatia, soft curves, and simple pops of color, these cars and trucks add a touch of simplicity and style to any nursery.

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11. Uncle Goose

Best For | Wooden alphabet blocks
Made In | USA
Price Range | $13–$225
Age Range | 2+ years

Uncle Goose does one thing exceptionally well: building blocks. The company innovated on the simple cube design, adding incredible colors and illustrations to provoke creative, imaginative play. All sets are handcrafted in Grand Rapids, MI, using local materials like renewable American basswood trees and nontoxic child-safe inks. Help toddlers learn to spell with the alphabet sets or order a set of specialty letters with their name!

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12. Bitte

Best For | Wooden train & nature sets
Made In | Varies
Price Range | $9–$250
Age Range | 12+ months

Bitte is a one-stop shop for wooden toys expertly curated by a mother-daughter duo with kiddos of their own. They’ve scoured the small business community to find the most sustainable and stylish toys that your little one (and even your home) will love. Some of our favorite brands here include Bajo’s wooden mini-cars, Holztiger’s wooden animals, and Tender Leaf’s wooden train sets.

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